Denmark made it through to the last 16 of Euro 2020 on Monday after a convincing 4-1 win over Russia which alongside Belgium’s victory against Finland meant they finished second in Group B.
Goals from Mikkel Damsgaard, Yussuf Poulsen, Andreas Christensen, and Joakim Maehle gave the Danes their first win of the tournament on a joyous evening at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.
Delirious fans showered each other with beer as Denmark rattled in the goals that allowed them to end the group stage in party mood after the trauma of Christian Eriksen’s mid-match collapse in their opening fixture against the Finns.
Denmark will face Wales in the last 16 in Amsterdam on Saturday.
The Danes came into the match with no points from their first two matches but knowing a win over Russia by two goals or more and defeat for Finland would guarantee them passage from the group as the second-placed team.
During the match’s opening ceremony a huge Denmark shirt with “Eriksen 10” written on it was unfurled to deafening cheers from supporters, after which a rousing rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was belted out from the stands.
The sense that this was a pure sporting occasion after the troubles of recent days was highlighted by the chorus of boos that greeted the Russian team onto the pitch.
Once the match got underway, Denmark continued with the same aggression as in their defeats to Finland and Belgium but initially struggled to create chances against a solid Russian team who were content to keep things tight.
The nominal home team, Russia enraged the Danish fans by taking their time over set-pieces and throw-ins as early as midway through the first half.
However, it was the Russians who had the first chance of the game, Aleksandr Golovin driving towards the goal and fashioning a great scoring opportunity only to shoot straight at Kasper Schmeichel from close range.